An 11th-grader at one of New York City’s top non-specialized public schools claims she was sexually assaulted in a bathroom by a classmate who videotaped the incident and sent the recording around to other students, according to a new lawsuit.
The teen girl, identified as “Jane Doe,” was questioned about the video by the assistant principal at the NYC Lab School for Collaborative Studies, who did not notify her parents, a school counselor, or the police before questioning her, according to the Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit.
“Without regard for [Doe’s] status as an underage victim of sexual assault or her obvious emotional and psychological trauma, [the assistant principal] forced [her] to write a statement describing her sexual assault,” the suit claims.
This occurred while she was alone in the assistant principal’s office “without the assistance of a trauma expert, thereby retraumatizing her,” according to the Friday filing.
Doe claims that a male student at the West 17th Street school in Chelsea followed her into the first-floor girls’ bathroom on November 4, 2021, “unbeknownst” to her.
According to the lawsuit, there was no security guard or monitor in the restroom, and the teen boy announced himself standing between her and the bathroom exit.
According to the lawsuit, the alleged attacker, identified as N.R., “demanded” that the girl give him oral sex, which she refused to do.
The suit claims that N.R. “forced [her] into a bathroom stall,” pushed her onto the floor, “held the back of her head,” and forced her into the sex act without her consent.
Later that day, Doe discovered that N.R. had recorded the incident with his cellphone, shown it to other students, and sent it to them, according to court documents.
According to the lawsuit, the assistant principal learned about N.R.’s video and that he’d been showing it to others, and he pulled Doe out of class to question her about it.
The girl and her father — only identified in court papers as Joe Doe — claim the school was negligent in failing to protect her especially given that her dad had reported previously that his daughter was a victim of bullying and had been physically assaulted by another student in October 2019, the court papers claim.
Doe’s father had even requested that she be transferred following the previous incident, but the filing claims that the assistant principal — who is not named as a defendant in the suit — refused to approve the move.
According to the lawsuit, the school was also negligent in failing to properly investigate and report the sexual assault and in failing to supervise the hallways and bathrooms.
It was also aware that N.R. was a problem student who “had a reputation for engaging in dangerous behaviors,” according to the lawsuit.
The father and daughter have filed a lawsuit against the city and the Department of Education for unspecified damages.
They are requesting that their identities be kept private because they are originally from an Islamic country in the Middle East. The parents are concerned that if their daughter returns home and the country learns about the sexual assault, she will be executed.